Government to investigate whether headlights are too bright

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced that it will commission an independent report on headlight dazzle, acknowledging that “further evidence” is needed on the issue.

The announcement came in response to a petition calling for MPs to review legislation about the brightness of car headlights receiving more than 10,000 signatures.

In response, the DfT announced the plan for the report, saying: “We know that lots of people raise concerns about headlight glare – but also that the police collision statistics don’t show any underlying road safety issue.”

Given the “lack of evidence” on the issues of dazzle and headlight brightness, the report will be used to inform “any further appropriate mitigations”.

The DfT has already moved to tackle the issue of headlight misalignment, having raised the issue at the United Nations’ expert group on vehicle lighting.

“Proposals to amend headlamp aiming rules were agreed in April 2023, together with requirements for mandatory automatic headlamp levelling, which automatically corrects the aim of the headlamps,” added the DfT.

It said that tightened rules on headlight beam alignment are expected to come into force in September 2027 and these “will help alleviate the number of cases where road users are dazzled”.

The announcement of the report comes just months after the RAC called on the DfT to “urgently” look into the issue of dazzle.

A survey of some 2000 motorists by the organisation found that 28% believed most headlights to be too bright.

Of those who complained about brightness, 74% said they were regularly dazzled while driving and 85% said they believed the problem was getting worse.

RAC safety spokesperson Rod Dennis hailed the DfT’s acknowledgement of the issue as “a real turning point”.

“The topic has undoubtedly struck a chord with motorists up and down the country, with many people contacting us directly to call for something to be done,” he added.

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